Bibliotheca Laureshamensis – digital: Virtual Monastic Library of Lorsch
The project's aim was to virtually reconstruct the monastic library of UNESCO-World Heritage Site Abbey Lorsch. More than 300 medieval manuscripts have survived and today they are spread over 73 libraries worldwide. The unification of the Lorsch codices and fragments for the first time makes the Abbey's intellectual foundation, and moreover the Carolingian world picture visible and researchable.
In comparison to Abbey Lorsch almost no other library from the Early Middle Ages that is reconstructable today, accomplished a comparable achievement in synthesis than Lorsch Abbey. It was one of the centres, in which ancient heritage was secured throughout all the following disruptions through transcriptions, comments and further editing. Especially in Lorsch an immense amount of knowledge was transferred and introduced, not only into Carolingian but into the entire medieval culture. For the Humanists Lorsch's monastic library was still of such interest that the collection became the core of Ottheinrich's library, the Bibliotheca Palatina in Heidelberg, and it contributed notably to its fame.
The Virtual Library unites all Lorsch manuscripts in the form of digital reproductions. In addition all codices are complemented by manuscript descriptions, which are researchable in a database set up especially for the project. The Search option in the database provides for the first time a detailed and systematic access to Lorsch's manuscript heritage.
The project was carried out between 2010 and 2014 and was financed by the Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten Hessen. The digitization and the compilation of manuscript description was realized by Heidelberg University Library.